Bellman in America
Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795) was a Swedish poet, songwriter, composer and performer. A central figure in the Swedish song tradition, he remains a powerful influence in Swedish music and Scandinavian literature to this day. Bellman is best known for two collections of poems set to music: "Fredman's songs" (Fredmans sånger) and "Fredman's epistles" (Fredmans epistlar). Each consists of about seventy songs. The general theme is drinking, but the songs "most ingeniously" combine words and music to express feelings and moods ranging from humorous to elegiac, romantic to satirical.
Sven Scholander (1860-1936) was a Swedish singer, musician, composer and sculptor. His musical innovations led to a revival in Swedish lute playing while his solo performances of Carl Michael Bellman reintroduced the works in their original form.
Scholander's younger brother Torkel Scholander (1871-1962) was likewise a singer and lute player. While touring the United States in 1911 he recorded twenty sides for Victor Records, including three numbers by Bellman. Twelve years later the troubadour Gunnar Bohman (1882-1963) crossed the Atlantic and performed Bellman songs for Swedish-American audiences from coast to coast.
Joel Mossberg was a Swedish-American singer, educator and choir director, who was active between the years 1900 and 1920. Between 1906 and 1919 Joel Mossberg released over seventy songs on the Columbia, Edison and Victor labels. Several were written by such literary stalwarts as Carl Michael Bellman, J. L. Runeberg and Gunnar Wennerberg.
In 1926 "Kungliga Svenska Flottans Musikkår" (The Royal Swedish Navy Band) visited the United States. The group gave concerts in California that were advertised in "Vestkusten", a Swedish-language newspaper published in San Francisco, and recorded nine sides for Columbia Records, including a two-part medley of Bellman tunes.
The Swedish-born comedian Olle i Skratthult (Hjalmar Peterson) recorded Bellman excerpts for his "Swedish Potpourri" on Columbia Records and toured with Gunnar Bohman in 1925. Members of his troupe also had Bellman in their repertoire.
"Whether Olle's accordionists played some agreeable tunes or members of the company sang, whether the folk dancers performed their beautiful and spirited dances or the quartet sang its 'Joachim in Babylon', there was frenetic applause . . . The organizers of the event are to be commended for giving the public what it wanted. And thoroughly Swedish and authentic are both Olle and his company."
The Swedish American, Chicago
March 4, 1920
— See JPEG and PDF files for translations and other information —
Tracks 01-31: Fredman's songs and epistles
Tracks 32-32: Selected poems by C. M. Bellman
Tracks 33-38: Songs performed in concert by Torkel Scholander
In America the Columbia, Edison and Victor labels released Bellman recordings by Arvid Asplund, Oscar Bergström, Grammophon Kvartetten, Kungliga Svenska Flottans Musikkår, Oscar Lundberg, Joel Mossberg, Torkel Scholander, the Swedish Glee Club of Brooklyn and the Swedish Quartet. — "Ethnic music on records" by Richard K. Spottswood, (University of Illinois Press, 1990).
Amaryllis (Opp Amaryllis)
Art And Politics (Tjänare Mollberg)
Cradle-Song For My Son Carl (Bellmans Vaggvisa)
Drink Out Thy Glass (Drick Ur Ditt Glas)
To Ulla (Ulla, Min Ulla)
EPISTLES AND SONGS
A Nota Bene (Nota Bene)
Concerning Mollberg's Parade (Undan Ur Vägen)
Of Fishing (Opp Amaryllis)
Of Haga (Fjäriln Vingad Syns På Haga)
Of Madame Bergstrom's Portrait (Storm Och Böljor Tystna Ren)
To Old Movitz (Drick Ur Ditt Glas)
To Ulla At A Window (Ulla, Min Ulla)
TORKEL SCHOLANDER SINGS BELLMAN
— Oregon Posten 05-17-11 —
Klingar Väl På Oboe (Sounds Well To The Oboe) FE 16
Nå Ödmjukaste Tjänare (Oh Your Humblest Of Servants) FS 09
Phoebus Förnyar (Phoebus Enlivens) FE 50
LYRICS BY DAHLGREN, FRÖDING & OTHERS
— Oregon Posten 05-17-11 —
Gå På Dompen
Jänta Å Ja
Min Mammas Förklädsband
The Brave Cabin Boy
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